GTA real estate enters busy fall season as prices, sales pick up

For sale sign is displayed outside a home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
Greater Toronto Area home buyers have limited options. (REUTERS)

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate has entered the typically busy fall market with higher sales volume, while price growth is starting to pick up again.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) says 9,046 homes were sold in September, which is 18 per cent lower than the same month last year. But it's 5.2 per cent higher than the 8,596 homes sold last month.

It was also the third most sales ever recorded in the month of September.

Prices, as measured by the MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark, were up 19.1 per cent year-over-year and 2.1 per cent month-over-month to $1,082,400.

"Price growth in September continued to be driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses," said Jason Mercer, TRREB chief market analyst.

"However, competition between buyers for condo apartments has picked up markedly over the past year, which has led to an acceleration in price growth over the past few months as first-time buyers re-entered the ownership market."

Mercer says he expects the trend to continue.

Also See: The latest real estate news for housing prices, mortgage rates, markets, luxury properties and more at Yahoo Finance Canada.

Call for governments to fix housing

Besides low mortgage rates, a lack of inventory continues to keep prices elevated. New listings were down 34 per cent compared to last year. Although there were 27 per cent more listings compared to last month, the market remains tight and still favours sellers.

"Demand has remained incredibly robust throughout September with many qualified buyers who would buy a home tomorrow provided they could find a suitable property. With new listings in September down by one-third compared to last year, purchasing a home for many is easier said than done," said Mercer.

"The lack of housing supply and choice has reached a critical juncture. Band-aid policies to artificially suppress demand have not been effective," said TRREB president Kevin Crigger.

"This is not an issue that can be solved by one level of government alone. There needs to be collaboration federally, provincially, and locally on a solution."

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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